Sports

Ted Lasso Wishes Coloradan Ethan Horvath Good Luck in World Cup

Ted Lasso has a message for Highlands Ranch native Ethan Horvath.
Ted Lasso has a message for Highlands Ranch native Ethan Horvath. Courtesy of Apple TV
Ethan Horvath, the Highlands Ranch native who'll be the first Coloradan to represent the United States Men's National Team in the World Cup, just received words of encouragement from perhaps the most important man in the soccer world: Ted Lasso.

"You sure must have been livin' the high life in Highlands Ranch," says the world-famous albeit fictional coach from the Apple TV hit series Ted Lasso in a quote on a billboard standing high above South Broadway near Jewell Avenue.

The note to Horvath, a goalie, is part of a series of 26 billboards that the Ted Lasso crew put up in the hometowns — or almost-hometowns, in the case of Horvath, since Highlands Ranch has no billboards — for USMNT players across the country. All of the signs, which were revealed early November 14, include notes displaying the folksy, pun-filled optimism that Lasso, an American soccer coach in England, is well known for on the award-winning TV series.

Apple TV says it chose this Denver location for the Horvath billboard because it was the best available site close to Highlands Ranch; drivers can see it going south.
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Ted Lasso had kind words for Colorado kid Ethan Horvath.
Conor McCormick-Cavanagh
Horvath's note continues, "You're practically next-door neighbors with the Rockies—a stone fortress, protecting the land. Kinda like you on the national team competing in the games of games. You're the rock and a hard place. Ain't nothing is gonna get past you. You'll be takin' down scissors and paper. I mean, paper really has no business beating rock in the first place, like y'all have never heard of paperweights? One thing I know rock solid, nobody's gonna cross Mt. Horvath."

The signoff: "Ready to rock, Ted Lasso."

The World Cup, the most important international competition in sports, begins on Sunday, November 20, in Qatar. The USMNT is in a group with Wales, England and Iran; the top two teams from that group will advance to the knockout stages.
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Ethan Horvath was born and raised in Highlands Ranch.
Horvath, a 27-year-old who's a graduate of Arapahoe High School, may not see any playing time during the World Cup, however. Barring injuries, Matt Turner, who plays for Arsenal, will get first dibs on the starting-goalie spot. After that will likely come Sean Johnson, who plays for NYCFC. And then it's down to Horvath, on loan to Luton Town, the second-highest league in the English football system.

Still, just making the USMNT is an honor bestowed upon very few male American soccer players.

And Horvath has already proved himself a winner for the USMNT in other tournaments. In June 2021, he became a legend when he filled in for an injured goalie and saved a penalty kick in extra time against fierce rival Mexico in the Nations League Final, which the U.S. ultimately won. Poetically, Horvath made that incredible save at Empower Field at Mile High in front of tens of thousands of his fellow Coloradans.

So maybe this time around, Horvath will get another shot. To quote Ted Lasso:

"As the man once said, the harder you work, the luckier you get." 
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.

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